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Germany

Former German Guerilla Barred from US

A former member of Germany's once feared Red Army Faction (RAF) has been prevented from visiting her dying mother in the United States under tough new immigration laws, media reports said. Astrid Proll, 57, a marginal figure in the far-left group during the 1970s, first applied in January for a visa to visit her sick mother, who died in November, Der Spiegel news magazine reported in its Monday edition. She was denied the right to travel to the United States either to visit her mother or to attend her funeral under the rules laid down by the Homeland Security Department, created in March 2003, the report said. In the early 1980s, Proll was handed a five-year sentence for bank robbery and forgery, but had visited her mother in San Francisco several times since her release from prison. At least 30 people were killed in Germany in attacks carried out by the far-left guerilla RAF, mostly during the 1970s and 1980s, before the group disbanded in 1998.

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